13 February 2017

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Rants and Weekly Raves #126 (RAWR)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on February 13, 2017
kakashi: I'm late to the fun, but I've started watching Nigeru wa Haji da ga Yaku ni Tatsu/We Married as a Job. It is my first JDrama! I'll write about it below.
Trotwood: I thought you were going to watch Bloody Monday?
That would be for work :(( So I'm not that eager.
But it's good and tense (if not realistic).
SakiVI: Really busy these days. Not sure how I'm finding time or energy to watch anything, and yet I am.
JoAnne: My list is about like normal but I'm watching fewer actual episodes lately, running behind on a lot. I think it's what constitutes a break for me.
I also picked up Merman Kasuo and the Chinese Drama with the title filling a whole tweet: Three Lives, Three Worlds and Then Miles of Peach Blossoms. Which I can't stop watching.
It's funny, isn't it? So far, I mean.

Korea

Hwarang

Ahhh, my pretty boys. They're all on the verge of life-altering decisions now. It's heartbreaking, just like growing up always is. Seon Woo, the False King, held prisoner by his worry over Ah Ro. Ji Dwi, the Hidden King, so afraid and unsure of his ability to lead, and so tempted to just let Seon Woo be the one. Ban Ryu, who cannot bear to disappoint his father even if it will cost him his love. The puppy, trying so hard to mold himself to a role he doesn't want as an apology to the beloved half-bone brother who could fill it with ease, but will never be allowed. And even Ah Ro, for all her crying, has several times now shown bravery, compassion for others as well as a true understanding of Ji Dwi, his struggles, and his destiny. There's a plague outside the capital, a war looming on the border, and that awful Gakgan plotting, too. I somehow wonder if some of these young folks won't make it out alive in the end .

Shy Boss the Remix 

We have the full backstory and to be honest, it's about what you'd expect. I don't see much difference in the personality of the girl but it does seem that she is over her revenge quest at this point, 'because it hurt other people.' People she hadn't intended to affect. We also have the beginnings of his realization that he has interest in her beyond feeling regret and guilt - which he really shouldn't feel anyway, but whatever. The most interesting thing to me is that his extreme anxiety around other people wasn't always this bad, but only since her sister died. I'm also glad to come firmly down on one side of the fence about CEO Kang. Even if I can understand in my head why he is how he is, I dislike him.

Rebel: Thief of the People

The maneuvering between Gil Dong's father and Lord Jo's wife was intense and very satisfying; I didn't mind at all that this is really all that happened in episode 3, especially since episode 4 covered a lot of years and brought us to the present day in the story. Dad and kids head off for a new life and turn a community of misfits, cast offs, and criminals into a thriving town of craftsmen and traders. Dad's friend is now the local magistrate so that helps, too. They've gone legit, but it seems Gil Dong is still somewhat traumatized by the events of his early childhood - no wonder - and he does not like Dad's friends, at all. They aren't bad guys, though, not really - it's just that Gil Dong associates them with danger. I'm enjoying this, it's a good story.

Defendant

Ji Sung is putting in another tour de force performance in this show. I pretty much gasped out loud at the end of ep 6 and cannot wait until next week. I shouldn't have started watching yet because we are still in the good guys getting screwed again and again phase and not to the revenge part. So painful watching the family, which clearly were so full of love and hope, reliving the pain of the murders (maybe only one?) again and again. I'm not sure I want to watch when Jung-Woo realizes that his very best friend betrayed him merely for a promotion. I had to rewatch the last four eps of Secret to see Ji Sung win because these two eps were so painful.

Missing Nine

I swear to God, if Tae Ho kills one more person...err...he'll have killed a lot of people.  I think he's been doing it for a long time, don't you?  Longer than the island.  And that guy who stole the company from Home Shopping Ahjussi CEO, he knows all about it.

Saimdang

The villain in the sageuk part is a puzzler: he slaughters men, women and children without hesitation, but he married an innkeeper's daughter despite being yangban, and he picks up cute kids just for a cuddle.  

Chief Kim

Didn't get here this week. So far it's still a very low-pressure watch for me but I do like it.

Goblin Specials!!!

And this is why I skipped Chief Kim this week. Other than the occasional minute-long clip, I don't really watch the BTS stuff or the specials that they put together for popular shows. However, I watched every minute of both the Goblin Specials and would have watched another several if they made them. What a lovely experience that show was. I miss it .

Father, I'll Take Care of You

I really despise the women of that family house: the grandmother, her son Hyun Seob's wife (mother of the two grown men), and her daughter Ye Ri, the pianist. While they aren't necessarily evil, they are deeply lacking in self-awareness and compassion, and only care about issues as they pertain to or are a reflection of themselves. For that matter, I don't much like Hyun Seob, either. He's no help at home and only puts his foot down when it suits him, plus there's the matter of what happened with Hyun Woo's father. Even if HW misunderstood part of it, he doesn't come off looking too well.
This week had a lot happening: Hyun Woo confirmed that Sung Joon is actually his little brother, Sang Woo, and decided that he can't continue to exact revenge against the family that raised him because he can't ruin Sang Woo's happiness, but he also can't stand by and watch, either, so he's heading back to NYC, and ending things with Jung Eun. She's understandably confused and heartbroken. And then, at the last minute, after he's invested considerably in Sung Joon's business success, he gets the terrible news that Sung Joon was a DIFFERENT boy brought to the orphanage that day and yep, the one that was his brother Sang Woo? He ran off and died in a car accident the next day. Then at the very very last minute of the show, some cheap woman shows up at the house calling Hyun Seob Oppa and asking how Sung Joon is, to Hyun Seob's frantic dismay. So, maybe he did have an affair after all?
 
We got a good dose of Small/Tall Couple this week, so that was good - but guess what! There's yet ANOTHER birth secret, this time heavily hinting toward Oh Dong Hee maybe being the rightful heir to the corporation that she works at with Sung Joon. This would make her a cousin to Miss Crazy Bitch, if you're paying attention. I predict major drama up ahead. Aside from that, there's the usual disgusting behavior from the second brother, and the usual spats between the sisters in law and/or mother in law and or brothers. OH, and Jung Eun's dad, gone for 30 years, has returned to Korea. Can't wait to hear THAT story.

Voice

My twitter friends warned me not to eat while watching this week's episodes. They wouldn't have bothered my eating, but I can see why they warned me. This show is pretty brutal, and I often have to stop because I feel so anxious for characters even when I know they can't die (being a lead and all). We get more movement forward in the case, but the big leap and revelation just meant that we all were thinking way too small on this conspiracy. Kim Jae Wook finally makes his cheek boned appearance, and he's already completely creepy as a scary polished dapper insane bad guy. He's the obvious villain, but I don't hate him the way I hate the traitors in the police force. However, you know he's bad when he made me feel a bit sorry for the murdering mob boss that is obviously so afraid of him.
 

Tomorrow with You

I like this show except when they make Shin Mina's character cutsie. I don't get that. I don't get that part of her character at all. It doesn't seem to fit with the trauma that has been her life or her upbringing by that mother of hers. It would make my toes curl, too (and not in a good way). I can't believe that neither So-Yoon nor Ki-Dong wouldn't realize that Se-Young liked So-Yoon. I know sometimes guys are slow on the uptake, but even her father can't figure this out. And what is the point of all this time spent with that fake friend Gin-Sook? Even her new rich husband doesn't want to spend that much time with her. He came to wedding but she didn't? Anyway, I'm in it for another week, but I'm losing interest in them despite wanting to know what happens. I think he needs to tell her more about their connection like how his parents died, for example.

Not Korea

Nigeru wa Haji da ga Yaku ni Tatsu / We Married as a Job

I felt very dramaless for a while, so I got around to my "To Watch"-list (that does not happen often enough) and I went for this one. I marathoned it on two evenings, which means: Very little sleep and that I liked it. I see that JDrama offers things I too often miss in KDrama and that is refreshing, original characters. Everybody in this is relatable, nobody is hateful or just a copy and past tempate. The office side-story was never annoying and neither was the single-mother or the aunt-hot young guy storyline. It's also the first Asian drama I see that treats gay love like nothing special at all. And finally, it has the right length and it treated many societal issues in very sensitive ways.
And yet, I was struck by how alien the behavior of especially the main couple was for me. It's a character and a cultural thing, obviously. First of all, I'm the opposite of low self-esteem. And to be frank, I get very impatient with people that have. I can't help it! This drama takes low self-esteem to the extreme and there were some episodes where it annoyed me A LOT. Also, main lead girl's submissive behavior, at times, made me cringe. (It's why I stopped watching the show.) That's the cultural difference at play. Sure, she was struggling with that role and in the end, it's all good, but still, my feminist-senses went haywire about all that cooking and cleaning and trying to be the perfect (if paid) wife. Still, very enjoyable, and I guess an excellent gateway drama into more J-entertainment for me. Yay!
I actually think what made it different for me was the fact that she actually likes cleaning. She is good at it and then got paid for it, which housewives generally do not do. She calculated how much that would be worth if he hired someone to do all that stuff. it was also interesting when she just didn't have time to do it all anymore and he recognized that it isn't easy.
Then start a cleaning service with all the accompanying social benefits like a pension. This playing at being a wife is stupid.  
I guess you're right ... but the "contract marriage" genre is alive and much-loved by many, at least this one took a somewhat fresh approach

Kasuo as Merman (aka Starry Night, Starry Sea)

Do I wanna know how many episodes this drama has? Probably not.
I'm glad Viki subbers are slow with this.
They're not though ... on Thursday evening my time, all six aired eps were subbed!  
And I'm not sure about the episodes, but I vaguely remember reading 40. (yes, it's 40!)  
We get 6 episodes per week, so the show will end soon enough. Also, it's insane, but I like it. The one thing that keeps me from rushing to watch it, though, is the lead actress. She's seriously annoying me.
I can't say I like it after six episodes ... okay, maybe a little bit. They pearl-mystery is interesting. But I can say for sure that I, too, find the lead actress and her horrible overacting very hard to bear and I can say that Feng Shaofeng is one attractive man with short hair. I'm not so sure about his acting abilities though
I'm quite sure. He has pretty much none, but in the opposite direction of the lead girl. To be fair, I'm sure the director instructed him to be stiff and awkward and emotionless, but there's a way to do that and this isn't it.
The drama has a bit of a Goblin vibe (an ancient, sad, quite pissed-off and powerful mystical being who is really rich and comes to earth from time to time, a whole clan devoted to him, fated love with someone from a specific blood-line, etc. etc.), but that's not this drama's fault, it was filmed long before Goblin was filmed. Also ... that house! I want it. So beautiful. I'll take it and Feng Shaofeng can clean it in white shirts and custom-fit trousers. Or sometimes without shirt, too.
Ditto re the house and Feng Shao Feng as handsome butler.
I like the house. I like the idea of someone cleaning the house. He doesn't do much for me though. Now, Hot Friend, on the other hand...
He has perfected this one pissed-off look for this drama, look! I'm sure he practiced for a long time! I really appreciate the hair, but I already said that. I get why he's pissed-off, but for 150 years? I hope he didn't develop any ulcers.
What was he doing all that time? Growing his hair long and hanging out on an iceberg?

The Magicians

Woah, this show is dark this season. And I totally did not see this coming. This = everything. 
Wow. Woooow...yep, could have knocked me over with a feather.

Behind Your Smile

Secrets are dribbling out a little at a time...Lei Xinyu knows that Yiting is Damao, now, and she knows what her mother did to Healthy Farm and to his family.  She confessed to his mother, hoping to deflect some of that woman's anger away from her son. (It hasn't worked so far.) Yiting told Xinyu what he wants from her mother, but not his part in ruining her business.  He started to, but then he stopped. Qianni is still lurking around the edges of things.  She is one lonely, mad girl, and I think her dad is way more evil than we gave him credit for.  There was one good kiss at the very very end and basically no good smile, sigh.
There was!! There was this at the very beginning!
And then the rest of episode was sad. Why doesn't he tell her? He had so many chances now. I wonder what Qianni is going to do because she saw that kiss and has to know that wasn't fake. I also wonder what she will think once she comes to know how evil her father is. He doesn't spare her at all over the restaurant problems. Xinyu's room mate is still a treasure. poor thing. i don't blame her for falling for Yiting, too. And she so desperately wants them both to be happy. She's like us but actually in the drama. And of course, the bromance in this runs very deep.

Three Lives, Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms / Eternal Love

Er ... what? This is so complicated! So many characters! It's my first Xianxia show, at least one labled thusly, so I am curious enough to watch on. So far, it very clearly beats Merman Kasuo. A few funky CGIs aside, everybody can act and the story is intriguing.
I liked the first episode. It made me laugh, and this time I think they meant for that to happen.
After two eps: ohhhhh. Second Prince. The poor sod will have to suffer horribly, won't he! War God was there first! Or was it his twin brother? Uhm ..... did I say this is complicated. Anyway, war God in all his incarnations will also have to suffer horribly, cause three lives, three worlds and many misunderstandings etc. Maybe everyone will have to suffer horribly, including us?
Update: Little Kakashi got interested and of course, loves it. How could she not. The Fox Princess is adorable and I foresee many hours during which I will have to role play Fox Princess and either 2nd Prince or War God. Yes, let me tell you, I have many hours of playing Feng Tianyi behind me. Anyway, this means I will have to watch all of this. 
After 4 eps: OMG heartbreak, heartbreak, heartbreak! I don't like sad shows, but DAMN, I'm addicted.
This show is recap material, but I'm too busy with the other shows I'm doing. Or am I? 
I dunno.  I went through 5 episodes and all I can really say is that I'm tired and want to watch daily dramas now. 

Candle in the Tomb (Finale)

Despite moments of action and nerves, I kept falling asleep in all 3 episodes. I would wake up, wind back, start watching, and fall asleep AGAIN. Finally I decided I'd just wait to see what happens when we get to it in the recaps. I did see the end, though.

Powerless (new)

I've seen the two aired episodes of this and I'm a little interested. This show is about the people who live in the town (Charm City) where all the super heros end up fighting. So - the ones who are IN the train car that gets thrown by the bad guy, only to be caught by the good guy. It centers on a group of folks who work for Wayne Securities, a subsidiary of Wayne Industries, although they have no idea that Bruce Wayne is Batman. It has a few people I reliably like (Alan Tudyk!) and I especially find his secretary hilarious .

Diamond Lover

Nope.

Emerald City

Nope.
I hear it got boring.

General and I

Still nope.

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell

More nope.

Santa Clarita Diet

It bored me, I'm not going back.
I've got new C-crack, so no, won't watch. 
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